As the debate around returning to work continues, this much is clear: working from home as ‘the new norm’ is undoubtedly one of the most significant lifestyle changes to come out of this year’s global pandemic. In some form at least, it appears this shift is here to stay. So, how do we ensure our home office encourages the same productivity as our former work environment? And how do we combat low motivation levels without the camaraderie of colleagues? With negative vibes and poor energy flow believed to have a significant impact on performance and subsequently, success, the answer might just be Feng Shui for your office.
A key pillar of ancient Chinese philosophy dating back some 6000 years, Feng Shui is the practice of cultivating equilibrium and positivity in everyday life through the specific arranging of spaces. Priya Sher is a London-based Feng Shui consultant with an impressive corporate and private client list (she counts the Cloud 12 Spa in Notting Hill and the Macquarie Bank in London’s historic Moorhouse building amongst her many career accomplishments). Explaining Feng Shui, which literally translates as “wind water”, she says, “All living beings need water and air to survive. The key of Feng Shui is that we live in harmony with our environment”. Its aim, notes Priya, “Is to achieve balance in your living and working space, maximising your potential for success in all areas of life.”
Awarded the prestigious title of a Master, Priya has nearly 20 years of experience and is well-versed in the benefits of Feng Shui. On a universal level, “If the Feng Shui of your home is good, it enhances your life, supporting both health and prosperity”. It’s natural, she explains, that you’ll absorb the energy of any space you spend time in, “Therefore it’s vital to optimise the energy of these spaces so that they support you”. Priya observes that “Feng shui is a very intricate practice that takes years to learn and includes having a thorough grasp of the Lopan Feng Shui compass” (this is a Feng Shui compass – above – that determines the exact direction of a place or structure.). However, by following a few thoughtful steps, she believes we can all improve the energy in our home office, whether we’re working in a cramped area under the stairs or an airy room with large windows. “These tips may seem simple,” says Priya, “But they’re incredibly effective”.
Easy steps to Feng Shui for your Home Office
To begin, Priya recommends having light green present within your work set-up. “The colour green relates to the element of wood, which is associated with learning and growth, and is energy that rises upwards. This makes green a particularly good colour for business growth”.
Priya also stresses the importance of good light, suggesting“Lighting that is gentle on the eyes and always avoiding tube lighting as that is too aggressive” she says.
Layouts for leaders
Next, consider the layout of your home office. Where possible, “The desk needs to be positioned so that the back of your chair has a solid wall behind it. Priya advises against “Sitting with your back to the home office door or having a window directly behind you,” you should, she says, “Have a good view of the full room”.
In Feng Shui, this is known as the “command position” which enables you to take ownership of the energy of the space and retain a heightened awareness of what’s happening in it. In turn, this boosts performance and allows you to achieve your very best. If your home office is small, try positioning the desk diagonally from the door, whilst in large rooms, aim to place the desk more centrally, always keeping a wall behind it as a strong backing and for protective power.
Light a woody candle for personal growth
To further enhance the energy of the room, Priya advocates lighting a gently fragranced woody candle at the start of each working day. “Wood is springtime energy and directly correlates with new beginnings and freshness. It is about new ideas and projects”. What’s more, wood links back to trees which Priya says “Grow upwards but have roots firmly in the earth”. She states that we want to mirror this in our home office and work life, where strong foundations are important for good growth.
Add plants for workplace wellbeing
Plants are important too; a Peace Lily placed directly on the desk is “Great for soaking in electromagnetic stress” says Priya. As the name suggests, a Money Plant (Pilea Peperomioides) will support your finances if located diagonally opposite the door. This specific position is a pulse point for wealth, so avoid putting clutter or a wastepaper bin here. For indoor plants check out www.patchplants.www.patchplants.com.
Declutter for an uncluttered mind
To maintain balance and calm, Priya proposes clean desks with minimal objects and papers. “As soon as you finish a project, file it away, make sure there’s no clutter and archive all old files”. This promotes greater focus and clarity of thought. In your haste to tidy away however, “Don’t place paperwork or books on the floors as it will reflect a deterioration in business or one’s career”.
If your space permits, you can add a small table-top water fountain in the southeast corner of your home office. This will boost wealth and create a calming vibe.
Add work structure
Finally, “Stick to set hours, take regular breaks, keep work within your designated office, and avoid bringing it into other areas of your home,” says Priya. A clear separation will help you to rest and fully relax.
Following these principles will empower you to successfully Feng Shui your home office, encourage a continual flow of good energy and sustain high output levels.
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